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Do You Really Know Your Target Audience? Part II: Psychographics

On a blustery day in March, my friend Julio overturned a flat rock on his property north of Lolo, Montana, and found a UFO below–aka an Unidentified Freaked-Out Organism.

I’ve been learning about UFOs in case a client wants to develop a product or service for them.

My previous blog post investigated the demographics of UFOs and takeaways you can apply to your own target market. This week, I’ll look at the psychographics.

Psychographics tell you how to connect with your target market.

Psychographics (literally mind or mental writing or data) tell you about your audience’s behaviors, values, lifestyles and attitudes. These attributes are much harder to pin down than demographic traits, but they’re also more useful for telling you why your customers buy your products and services. You’ll need to know that for inbound marketing, when you’re developing content to reach your target market through Web sites, blogs and social media.

Personality: Face it: UFOs are sneaky. Descriptions generally call them secretive or elusive, which makes them hard to get to know. Threaten them, and they’ll wiggle away under a nearby rock or shrub. They’re never far from shelter.

Takeaway: When you choose marketing channels, consider first how your target market likes to communicate. You need to be where your customers are—so figure out how and when they want to interact with you. Then provide a seamless experience across channels, so you maintain the same level of relevancy and intimacy as they move from print to digital to social media.

Attitudes: UFOs take a dim view of the world, because they think everything in it—raccoons, possums, crows, hawks, other lizards—are out to get them. They’re right.

Takeaway: Help your target audience escape the predators who bombard them with messages each day. The pressure makes them defensive and protective; don’t add to it. Instead be the alternative—make it clear you’re there to help, not sell. Work with your target market to understand the challenges they face and tailor solutions to their needs.

Lifestyles: UFO lifestyles center on keeping their body temperature not too toasty, not too chilly. They need rocks and logs for cover, sunny openings to bask, southerly slopes to nest and hibernate. They spend a lot of time moving back and forth to find the perfect environment.

Takeaway: Today everyone is always on the go. And even if they don’t go far, their attention span is short. So get your message across in an easy and accessible way. Grab your audience fast with a QR code that leads to a landing page with more info; Twitter content that keeps them up-to-date on key issues; and videos and Podcasts that replace lengthy articles and newsletters.

Interests/hobbies: What hobbies does a UFO pursue? Sunbathing. And occasional tail dropping. Like many reptiles, the UFO can release their rear section if grabbed by a predator. The tail keeps wiggling, keeping the predator mesmerized while the UFO makes his escape. Eventually the tail grows back, but not with the same intense blue color.

Takeaway: Knowing how your target audience spends their spare time can double your chances of reaching them. How? Through cross marketing. Apple and Nike, Omega and James Bond, golf and Viagra all team up and leverage their partners’ reach. But the UFO also shows the value of gentle persistence. Because when you’re left with a wriggling blue tail, you know somewhere there’s a critter who will finally pay attention to those appendage-enhancing emails and ads.

PS—So what species is our UFO? A Western Skink.



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